Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Intuition Revisited

Not To Be Confused With Instinct

Previous post about Intuition vs. Instinct

One of the reasons for this blog is to be a journal in which I can express a few of my inner thoughts and experiences to my close friends. Over the years, people from various parts of the world have read this blog and found something in here that rings a bell, strikes a chord, or in someway stimulates a response. I am happy that there are, in here, connections between some of us that span distance, age, and culture.

I thank my motivator and mentor, Marian, for encouraging me to write a journal. I write this in the same way that I have written letters and stories to her, except now I can illustrate with my photography, or items and images of interest that I find on the internet, and I have learned how to design the page so that it retains some of it’s graphic balance and integrity in the email version on her Windows PC.

I ran across an article in Scientific American that stimulated the gray matter beneath my graying hair. (Article)

It reminded me of my first encounter with public schools, or more precisely, with one specific public school teacher.

I started my immersion into academia at Wrights Academy in Allentown, PA. It was a place where children were encouraged to be creative, and, after some time adjusting to unfamiliar surroundings, I responded with enough gusto that I was promoted early to the next grade. I flourished in the encouraging and stimulating environment. I really enjoyed school at the academy.

It was when we moved to Emmaus, PA to occupy the house my dad had built to accommodate every ones needs, according to age and interests, that my mother decided she didn’t wish to drive me to the academy 5 days a week. So I was enrolled in the local public school.

It was there that my teacher, Mrs. Peacock, stubbornly wouldn’t accept my ability to write, read, and solve mathematical equations that were beyond what she was teaching her second grade students. My solution was to under-perform in classroom math, stop writing cursive and print all capital letters.

Reading was my own private world. I could get all the books that I wanted to read at the public library, where, after a few weeks, I earned an adult card once I had read every book in the children's and junior section. So, library good - public school, pretty much a waste of my time.

I found a couple of kids that liked to read comics and we would draw collaborative stories in comic strip form. This would start with one or two frames with one character saying something, (in a speech balloon), while leaving room for one or more characters to be drawn by the next budding cartoonist.

We would pass this page around until class was over, sometimes finishing the page, or adding more in the next class. I continued playing this cartooning game during class in every school, (including catechism), I attended in Pennsylvania, California, and Texas, until I went to college. 

I met many talented artists and cartoonists throughout those years by playing a game that kept our creativity alive.

I have had many jobs over the years as an artist, cartoonist, graphic designer, and art director. I think that cartooning game had a lot to do with the development of my artistic skills.

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” - Albert Einstein

Today’s Scrumptious Video;

I Eat Real Food

More Good

Is Always Welcome

Last night I got to enjoy one of my favorite treats; a bowl of Trader Joe’s French vanilla ice cream. Oh yeah, there was also aebleskiver fresh out of the oven, and even whipped cream.

Tonight is one of those dark and stormy nights, when the wind howls and the rain beats against the window pane.

Earlier this gloomy, windy evening I headed out to Trader Joe’s to replenish my supply of apple pie, (and aebleskiver).

One had to be really careful and paying attention when driving under these conditions.

While traveling to the store, there were three, extremely lucky, people who stepped out of the darkness on the wet dark streets, and nearly became mangled by walking right in front of my moving car.

Had I not been paying attention at that very moment, maybe looking at the clock, talking to a passenger, eating a burger, texting, or daydreaming, there would have been a most unfortunate encounter between a 4000 pound moving vehicle and a crushable human being.

Just one close call like that, would’ve been enough to set a person on edge, but tonight, I had to expertly avoid hitting three different geniuses, in three separate events. They were on different streets, dressed in different shades of dark clothing, but all three thought it would be better to cross the dark road in traffic, than to walk a few extra yards to a lighted crosswalk.

So I made it back home without anyone successfully committing suicide by walking in front of the Buick on the dark slick roads, and it feels real nice to be here, out of the wind and rain. I avoided being a part of a tragic situation, thanks to driving skills I have learned, and a great big, much appreciated, helping of grace.

It was so dark and rainy in the late afternoon, that I had to use a flash to get pictures of the flowers in Dorothy’s garden. It was hard to get nice compositions, so I tried out one of the new toys that I got to play with images. Its called ShapeBox.

I think it is kind of cute and fun, to have photo applications that are just for silliness, and not necessarily for professional results.

And speaking of exquisite, professional results, I ran across some really nice images of some ingenious sculpture. The sculpture was made from broken CDs by an artist named Sean Avery. (Site)

Sculpture by Sean Avery

I look at that little hummingbird, and wish I could do something so clever. However, sculpture made from broken CDs, is not one of my talents.

I am happy for anyone who has talent, for it is a wonderful gift that allows us to personally be a part of, and share with others, something magical and special.

Today’s Somewhat Appropriate Video;

Very Nice

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Muddy Water

And, Black Gold Fever

On Friday, House Speaker John Boehner called for President Obama to agree to build the Keystone XL pipeline, which would bring about 700,000 barrels of oil per day from Canada to the Gulf Coast.

What has been deliberately left out of the Keystone argument is; The tar sands oil, (if the ill advised Keystone pipeline is ever constructed), has already been purchased by China. That’s right folks, China is the majority investor in that venture, and as such, will determine who gets the product, and profits.

The United States is currently, (2/25/12), exporting 900,000 barrels a day to other nations, because our refineries can get more easy money this way, rather than saving the oil for Americas future. You might have noticed, if you looked at the number of barrels a day, that we are exporting more refined oil than the Keystone pipeline will produce.

The people spouting the false stories about the pipeline, are counting on you to limit your intake of information to that which is administered by the right wing owned and operated, network news. (Even those stations we used to trust like CBS, ABC, and NBC, are running the same stuff as Fox News and ‘talk’ radio).

Our nation, as well as others in this world, have the responsibility to protect this planet that contains all the necessary ingredients which have spawned and supported life as we know it. The wanton destruction of habitat, just to obtain profitable resources is the most egregious criminal act of all. It has to stop, or everybody, and everything that makes life on earth possible now, will have no future.

We need to nationalize and sensibly regulate our energy industries to protect our country from those who cannot see the downside of their lust for more money.

We certainly cannot continue to elect, so called, ultra-conservatives who have become nothing more than snake oil peddlers.

Nicer Stuff

Except for the pictures of MT Lassen and the Daffodil, the flowers you see here were all appearing in Dorothy’s garden.

Yesterday, I ventured off the beaten path, onto a less beaten trail to the MT Shasta mine. There were so many wonderful sights and sounds that were captured, I am still sorting through them to present the essence of an uplifting experience on this blog.

Here is one example;

Hidden falls along the trail.

Today’s Somewhat Appropriate Video;

Be Good - Be Happy

Thursday, February 23, 2012

One Exceedingly Beautiful

Breezy Day

What a wonderful, blustery, beautiful day. The flowers were dancing in the wind, and the trees were singing the song of the breezes that blew. (To paraphrase Van Morrison)

I filmed, (videoed), some items that were dancing in the breeze; flowers, feathers, and leaves. I can use that as the backdrop to a song that was in my head that I have yet to write and record. At least I got the video footage ready to go.

I hope that some of you had the opportunity to see the evening sky around a quarter to seven. Mercury, the moon, Uranus, Venus, and Jupiter, were all in a row in the western sky. I didn’t get a picture because I was on my way to Lulu’s for the Thursday night blues jam. I wasn’t set up to take a picture that would’ve done justice to the celestial spectacle.
Night Sky Site

I wandered around behind building, “A”, earlier in the afternoon, and found a few little flowers popping up in Dorothy’s garden. I also found teeny, tiny flowers in one of the other gardening beds, and some wild ones out by the tool shed.

I am fascinated by the little bitty flowers and all of the apparatus that they have for making pollen and seeds and attracting pollinators. It’s a wonderful magical world we live in.

I saw my neighbor Jo Anna and her dog, Brandi, while I was out on the western end of the driveway taking pictures of Mount Lassen and the crows flying overhead.

We discussed the price of gas, and I explained that no matter what they’re saying on cable news and talk radio, it’s not Obama’s fault. It’s not Iran. It’s our own crazy, greedy, fossil fuel companies, and Wall Street speculating gamblers.

I informed her about our country having such a great surplus of gasoline right now, that the refineries are selling it to other countries for a greater profit than they would get selling it here. There is no oil shortage of crisis proportions, no reason for new drilling, or high prices, except greed.

She wondered why she hadn’t heard anything about it, and I said that’s because she watches cable news, and mainstream, corporate controlled media.

When I got back to my apartment, I e-mailed her a link to a story in the Christian Science Monitor addressing that very subject. (Story)

It’s my opinion that we should nationalize our countries energy. That includes fossil fuels, solar, wind, and all the rest. This would take the temptation away from energy companies who would sell out their own country because of an insane lust for bigger profits.

Today’s Somewhat Appropriate Video
(Made using an iPhone!)

Nature Is Beautiful

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Bloomin' Early

A Lot Like Last Year

Shasta, Monday afternoon

Shasta, Tuesday afternoon

It has been a great time to take pictures. I have been taking more pictures than I have been posting lately, but I think that’s great. I hang on to the foolish idea that I will have a treasure trove of material to draw upon for future stories and photo illustrations.

John finished the finish for the iPod Touch stand, and even put a cork bottom on it. I started taking some pictures of it to use in an upcoming pt 2 video about the stand. The finish has more life than what appears in this image, so I will try some variations of lighting until an image shows the energy radiating from within.

The volunteer daffodils that grow out of the gravel on the west side of ‘A’ building have bloomed in the past two days. They add a nice splash of color to the gray rocks.

I am including a couple of dinners that I enjoyed. The one above being Michael Angelo’s frozen vegetable lasagna. I have written about these little satisfying entrĂ©es before, but they have become something of a staple in my freezer, so here is another serving.

The next image is of me, eating mandarin orange chicken. One of the women working at Trader Joe’s was stocking the freezer section with packages, and suggested I try it.

It sat in the freezer, here at home for a week or so, until I was shopping at Trader Joe’s when, for the third time I encountered the same woman. She asked me for the third time if I had cooked it. So, when I got home, I took out the bag and read the instructions. It had frozen battered chicken chunks and sauce packets inside.

The sauce packets contained stuff I wouldn’t want to put in my system, so I threw them out and poured half the bag of chicken chunks onto my combination pizza and baking pan. I preheated the oven to 400, put in the pan of chicken, (actually corn and suffering in the shape of a chicken), cooked it for 19 minutes, and discovered it was pretty good.

I will eat the other half of the bags contents some other time, maybe.

Today’s Somewhat Appropriate Video;

What A World

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Little Things

Mind The Minutiae

At first I walk right past them. I look very carefully at the ground, trying to find a spot of color. Just a tiny flash of blue or red or orange to let me know there were some little flowers blooming on the ground.

I begin to spot bits of color and look closely. They start to reveal themselves. Little delicate flowers, leaves of many colors, shapes, and textures.

I realize I’ve been walking right on top of the little flowers the whole time. They are everywhere once I see one or two of them.

Even within what appears to be the same plant, there are different shaped flowers, leaves that are different colors, and different textures.

I thought that I might have run out of colorful flowers once all the roses were gone. But it seems that I just needed to open my eyes to see this ubiquitous, tiny, flowering world of vibrant beauty at my feet.

I raise my eyes from the ground and look to the East toward Mount Lassen. There, I see even more beauty on a massive scale.

What a beautiful and wondrous world I get to live in.

Life is good for me in the here and now.

The Viola iBook Project

Chapter 3 cover page

The book for the iPad is nearly complete. On Friday I photographed and recorded the third musician, Katherine Conway, that has played the new viola that John made.

I now have only two pages to complete; The glossary, and the thank you-credits page. After editing and proofreading, the book will be ready to publish in iBooks.

Today’s Very Appropriate Video;

What A World